Scott Rettberg & Jeremy Welsh exhibition Rom 8

Friday 5 October 6.00 pm, Rom 8, Vaskerelven, Bergen

In connection with the Re:place startup seminar, Jeremy Welsh and Scott Rettberg wil be opening an exhibition featuring a range of works in video, sound,  photography and text.

Scott Rettberg shows several collaborative projects, made together with Roderick Coover and Nick Montford. Jeremy Welsh shows Spatial Traces, a video work with sound by Robert Worby, and Places/Traces, a selection of works-in-progress from an ongoing series of investigations of place in video, photography, sound and text. The project consists of several parts, including "SMS Bamboo Forest", an ongoing work combining digital photographs, video and sound, started in 2009 in a Chinese garden in Sydney.  Image below from the series Places/Traces (2010 - 2012) a collection of photographs recording traces and remnants, marks, scarrings, abandoned or discarded items and neglected spaces in the urban environment.

"Katastrofetrilogien"  (2010-2011), co-produced by Roderick Coover and Scott Rettberg

Katastrofetrilogien is a trilogy centered on themes of how stories of historic disasters impact contemporary conversations and relationships. Collaboratively and organically constructed, these three films call upon histories of deadly volcanic ash, great floods, and the plague to tell stories of present day longing, anxiety, and environmental change.

"The Last Volcano / Det siste utbruddet"
A story of a catastrophic volcanic eruption and its aftermath is retold by a woman to a man before the slowly turning image of contemporary urban landscape. Though the story seems to reference events of the distant past, its setting and telling raise anxieties related to cycles of memory and forgetting.

Direction: Roderick Coover
Writing: Scott Rettberg 
Translation by: Daniel Apollon, Gro Jørstad Nilsen, and Jill Walker Rettberg
Voices: Gro Jørstad Nilsen and Jan Arild Breistein

"Cats and Rats / Rotter og katter"
A blind date between an American epidemiologist and a Norwegian woman takes place on a transatlantic Skype call. In trying to impress his potential paramour, the American steers the conversation terribly wrong, toward a discussion of the Plague and all the devastating historical memories it entails.

Direction: Roderick Coover
Writing: Scott Rettberg 
Translation by: Jill Walker Rettberg,
Voices: Jill Walker Rettberg and Rob Wittig

"Norwegian Tsunami/ Norsk flodbølge"
During a cigarette break on an oil platform in the North sea, a Scottish geologist and a Norwegian chef consider a certain strangeness in the waves, their changing spirits, and the last time a tsunami devastated the nearby shores.

Direction: Roderick Coover
Writing: Scott Rettberg 
Translation by: Scott Rettberg and Jill Walker Rettberg,
Voices: Gillian Carson and Kristian A. Bjørkelo 

“Three Rails Live” (2011-2012) by Roderick Coover, Nick Montfort, and Scott Rettberg 

"Three Rails Live" is an experiment in combinatory poetics, a generative system that results in the production of short narrative videos, stories with a moral to them. The three collaborators put the system together at some remove from each other. Coover sent a selection of short video clips and images to Rettberg and Montfort. Rettberg viewed the clips and sorted them arbitrarily into themes (Landscape and Fate, Tourists, Death by Snake, Industrial Sites, Trains, Flood, Toxic, Flight, Stripped, and Third Rail), wrote three short narratives for each theme, and then recorded readings of each of these narratives. Together the narrative segments fit into an overall first-person story of a man considering his memories and his relation to others and his environment late in his life. Montfort selected particular images, and, borrowing a technique from Harry Mathews, wrote “perverbs”—remixes of two different proverbs that subvert the original—for each of the texts paired to an image. Montfort also produced a title generator that arbitrarily creates a title for each run of the work. The system the authors constructed selects two videos and two of the narrative recordings from a constrained random selection. A preverb with a moral to the story is then assigned and the process begins anew. The system thus results in short narrative videos with new juxtapositions of  images, texts, and preverbs each time it runs. All of the texts and images emerge from this aleotory but thematically determined method.

Voices: Scott Rettberg (stories), Nick Montfort, Judd Morrissey, and Davin Heckman (perverbs)

"Implementation" by Nick Montfort and Scott Rettberg (2004 & 2012)

Implementation was written collaboratively and sent serially through the mail in the form of eight roughly chronological installments, each consisting of texts on thirty stickers. The stickers were also made available online in different paper sizes, so that people could print them out on standard sheets of business-size shipping labels. Participants attached stickers to public surfaces around the world, so that whoever happened to wander by the stickers could read them. Some of these placements of stickers were photographed by participants, and the photographs were sent back to be archived on the Implementation website.

Because of the origin of this novel on sheets of stickers, and because of the way these stickers have been situated on public surfaces, Implementation consists of 240 short texts, any number of which can be read in any order. In the 2012 book version, all these atomistic texts have been arranged with a cohesive narrative flow in mind. Each page includes placements of the narrative stickers on various public surfaces. It is a book to be read in photographs.

Implementation is about four main characters: Frank, Samantha, Kilroy, and Roxanne, who live in a Midwestern town. The action of the novel begins in September 2001 and runs through the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. One of the characters, Kilroy, is a reservist who is called up and then sent to Iraq, but the other characters are affected in much more oblique ways by the attack on the World Trade Center and the changes that follow. They continue to dine at restaurants, drink at bars, work, worry about their jobs and careers, have flings and relationships, and go to celebrations and funerals. While even a bombing in town changes little on the surface of these lives, the effects of the war can be read in shifts in their gestures, longings, and language. Implementation is a novel about the peripheral, everyday, psychological toll of the war on terror.

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